What of the future for The Association?
Is it time to call it a day?
Banffshire Maritime & Heritage Association formed some ten years ago with the aim of providing a platform to showcase this area's rich maritime heritage. In simple terms the intention was to show the present generations life as it would have been in the past. In other words bringing the past to the present with the future in mind.
The aim had always been to have premises where items of interest would be displayed. Something along the lines of a mini museum. This happened in 2006 when suitable premises were leased in Duff Street Macduff, just a stone's throw from the harbour.
The association was able to exhibit many items of interest including models, artefacts, photo's and memorabilia. Visitor numbers were not high and donations that we needed were not sufficient, then perhaps the final nail in the coffin was the water rate which at the time amounted to £660 per annum. In an ironic twist water rates for charity premises are now exempt (provided the Charity meets the qualifying criteria) The reluctant decision was taken not to extend the lease. The committee remained in a positive mood and elected to keep going with the future in mind. It was clear there was a need to generate income and the then chairman, Stan Bruce, decided to write books about the local area that could be sold at a modest profit with all proceeds going to (BM&HA) we were now a registered Scottish Charity. Books were duly published and were selling well at a local book store.
The future looked promising as we again reviewed our aim of obtaining premises. We looked at several options but none were deemed suitable, that is until we were offered the opportunity to take over the small Harbour Café at Macduff because the owner was retiring and the building was to be closed. Wheels were put into motion and the Association made a formal approach to Aberdeenshire Council who sadly, for their stated reasons, felt our application was not in keeping with the area which it classified as commercial. We have to accept these decisions although we did not agree with them at the time and it became too late when the building was demolished. This dented our resolve a tad and it became a case of keep looking. Read what happened. However the local book store closed then the loss of three of our stalwart committee members over recent times limited our ability to function as per our constitution and so we must consider the future of the Association.
There are two options
1) Close down
Option (1) Close down
This would be a relatively simple undertaking although it would need to be managed and follow procedure in accordance with the Scottish Charity Commission rules. There is little cost in doing this. As a legal requirement all remaining funds would be passed onto another Charity.
Option (2) Continue
To continue would mean adding sufficient new members to the existing committee thereby allowing it to function in accordance with the constitution. In addition premises would be needed at some stage and of course there would be a need for a revenue stream which at the present time means finding a business that will sell our books. None of these are impossible although they can be considered challenging
So the answer to the question. Is it time to call it a day? Is probably, Yes it is
The liklihood is that we shall continue as far as we are able for the present time and make a final decision prior to the financial year ending April 2016
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